Cooking requires full-on focus or you may find yourself on a mad dash out the door for a forgotten ingredient or, worse still, angrily trashing a burnt meal.
This simple technique for staying present and on track requires no yogic training or fancy meditation courses. You don’t even need special equipment.
As long as you are able to breathe, you have just what you need to slow a frenzied brain.
Cook up a little mindful attention with the following recipe.
Recipe for Three Gentle Breaths
Prepare to breathe:
Sit or stand up just a little straighter, don’t force perfect posture – be comfortable. A good term to keep in mind as you position yourself is the word “dignity.” So, sit with dignity.
Keep your shoulders slightly back and down (this opens the chest a bit for good air flow).
Allow your head to rise upward as if it were floating every so lightly upon your neck.
Keep your hands comfortably in your lap or hanging lightly at your side. Position is not critical. Comfort is.
Smile. Then take one deep but controlled breath in through the nose all the way down deep into the abdomen.
Then let the breath out quickly but controlled through the mouth with your lips loose and billowing outward. See? That is not hard at all. Are you ready to practice with me?
Breathe slowly and evenly in through the nose. Think the word Peace (or think the name of your favorite food such as Biscuit or Gravy).
Notice the cool air as it enters your nose, follow it as it proceeds down your throat. Feel your lungs expand as they fill with air. Do not force the breath, just watch it.
Breathe slowly and evenly out through the nose. In and out. On the out breathe, let the word Calm float gently in your mind (or the name of your favorite dessert such as Pie).
Notice how the air is warmer now as it flows upward from the lungs, through the throat, and back out the nose.
Pause one second.
Repeat for a total of three breath cycles.
Things to think about:
How do you feel? Are you calmer, more centered, or alert?
You just pumped up supply of oxygen running through your veins to revitalizes your cells, enhance brain function, and improve your ability to focus.
Yes, all that from three little breaths.
Repeat the breaths anytime you feel like life is a bit out of control. You might not be able to control an unpleasant situation, but you can control your breathing.
What will three breaths help you cook today? My three breaths are going to help me make a pie!